The Washington Nationals acquired catcher Kurt Suzuki from the Oakland A’s in exchange for minor league catcher David Freitas. Suzuki, 28, is a terrific defensive catcher in the worst hitting year of his career, currently hitting .218/.250/.286 with just one home run, but he is a lifetime .254/.311/.378 hitter with 15, 13, and 14 home run seasons to his credit.
Freitas, 23, is hitting .271/.374/.407 for High-A Potomac. He’s been an All-Star in each of his three minor league seasons, though he’s still a work in progress behind the plate.
Suzuki is due about $1.8 million this season and under contract next season at $6.45 million, and has a team option for 2014.
Suzuki will immediately address the Nats biggest need: someone with Major League experience to share the catching duties with Jesus Flores, who has been beaten up with the workload this summer. Teams have been running wild on the Nats pitchers lately and Suzuki has thrown out base runners at a 29 percent clip for his career and at 38 percent this season. He is well-respected by his peers and pitching staffs, and will be reunited with former teammate Gio Gonzalez in D.C.